BHUBANESWAR: Aadhaar Card will now be mandatory for students of State Government-run schools to get mid-day meals (MDM) and other benefits under the Centre’s subsidy schemes related to school education like Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Sikhya Abhiyan (RMSA).
The School and Mass Education Department has directed all district education officers and project coordinators of SSA to tag the Aadhaar numbers of every student in OPEPA’s Student Database Management Information System (SDMIS) by July 31. School headmasters and teachers have been asked to collect Aadhaar Cards of every student and record their UID numbers in school register by July 15. In case of non-availability of Aadhaar Card of any student, the Aadhaar enrolment receipt (EID) of the student would be collected. The block education officers would facilitate enrolment of students who have not registered for Aadhaar yet.
Sources said if required, the officers may visit the houses of students and mobilise their parents for Aadhaar enrolment so that all children are eligible to get benefits under SSA, RMSA and MDM schemes.
According to the department reports, there are a total of 62,708 government-run primary and upper primary schools in the State, having an enrolment of 51,04,795 students of which, 30,38,240 avail noon meals each day on an average. Currently, the department has an SMS-based monitoring system to check MDM irregularities under which, headmasters send daily reports to the project monitoring unit of the department about the number of students having noon meals every day.
State Nodal Officer (MDM) of MDM Gangdhar Sahoo said, all students, either enrolled under Aadhaar or not, will continue to get mid-day meals till September 30, the deadline that Centre has set for final Aadhaar enrolment. The State Government spends `4.58 for per plate of mid-day meal for primary students and the amount is `6.83 in case of upper primary students.
In February, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) had issued a directive in this regard to State Governments to link MDM scheme to Aadhaar for ensuring greater transparency in its implementation.
Not just government schools, private schools across the state have also been asked provide Aadhaar numbers of all students through the SDMIS, which will act as a single source data on school and class-wise students at State and national-level for providing benefits of government schemes to them.